Karl Rove’s Crossroads super PAC has just dropped $8 million on this anti-Obama ad, which will run in eight swing states.
** NEW COLUMN COMING UP … A BUCKET OF WOE: JERRY BROWN’S UNSURPRISINGLY UNHAPPY BUDGET.
** QUICK HITS. The new Fox News poll shows President Barack Obama opening a significant lead over Mitt Romney, 46-39, with increased optimism on the economy. I mention it only because it is Fox News. … Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but state Democratic legislative leaders are still talking about alternatives to some of the actual cuts in Governor Jerry Brown’s latest budget.
** NEW POLL: SENSE OF OPTIMISM IN RECOVERY. A new Gallup Poll indicates that Americans are becoming much more optimistic than they have been in recent years.
In fact, as many Americans now feel they will be better off in a year’s time as felt that when George W. Bush took office as president, just over 11 years ago.
Which is very good news for President Barack Obama.
What is not such good news for Obama is that only 37% say they are better off now than they were a year ago.
Americans’ expectations for their personal financial situations have recovered from the low point of four years ago, with 63% now saying they expect to be better off a year from now, up from 52% in late May/early June 2008. The 18% who say they will be financially worse off in a year is by one percentage point the lowest since 2003. …
When George W. Bush took office in January 2001, financial expectations were about where they are today — 63% said they would be better off in a year, and 21% said they would be worse off. Americans became a little more pessimistic toward the end of the last decade, and by late May/early June 2008, 52% said they would be better off, while 31% said they would be worse off.
The current reading of 63% “better off” compares with 60% in January 2004, 66% in March 1996, and 51% in March 1992 — all years in which incumbent presidents were seeking re-election. In 2004 and 1996, incumbent presidents were re-elected, while the incumbent in 1992 — George H.W. Bush — was defeated. …
The LA Galaxy visited the White House yesterday, where President Barack Obama congratulated Becks and the boys on the team’s 2011 Major League Soccer Cup championship. Soccer, of course, is what the rest of the world calls football, and David Beckham is a longtime global star, having been captain of the England team longer than anyone else in history.
** NEW COLUMN COMING UP … JERRY BROWN’S UNSURPRISINGLY UNHAPPY BUDGET.
** OBAMA TODAY. President Barack Obama is in Washington.
Obama and Vice President Joe Biden received the daily intelligence and economic briefings in the Oval Office.
Obama then held a roundtable discussion with small business owners and SBA Administrator Karen Mills.
Following that, he met for lunch with Congressional Leadership of both parties in the Private Dining Room.
At 12:10 PM Pacific, Obama posthumously awards the Medal of Honor to Army Specialist Leslie H. Sabo, Jr. A paratrooper with the 101st Airborne Division, Sabo performed his act of heroism above and beyond the call of duty during the Vietnam War, then suffered the indignity of having his paperwork lost along with his life.
In the race with Mitt Romney, polling shows that New Jersey Governor Chris Christie doesn’t help Romney as a running mate in, well, New Jersey. He was unlikely to run anyway.
Meanwhile, Vice President Joe Biden is taking the fight to Romney, hitting him on Bain Capital.
In larger matters, Iranian negotiators are in Vienna, dickering with the International Atomic Energy Agency ahead of next week’s session between Iran and the P5 + 1 (US, UK, Russia, France, China, and Germany).
The talks are cordial, but have not produced any breakthrough on the UN nuclear watchdog’s ongoing desire to inspect suspected sites, notably a military site which may be in the process of being sanitized.
No progress has been made for months on this issue.
Obama is monitoring several geopolitical crises involving the Arab Awakening, Iran and Israel, Iraq, AfPak, and North Korea.
Military Crisis Zone Times: The Arabian Gulf is ten hours ahead of Pacific time, and Afghanistan is eleven and a half hours ahead of Pacific time.
Governor Jerry Brown’s plan to cut California’s budget further and raise revenues in a November vote is drawing international attention to the state’s chronic budget crisis.
** FROM THE JERRY FILES. Governor Jerry Brown is in Sacramento.
He has no scheduled public events as of this morning.
Brown yesterday morning at a victims’ rights conference hosted by the California District Attorneys Association and the California Crime Victims Assistance Association at the Sheraton Grande Hotel.
There he made reference to this tough state budget revision, and his November revenue initiative, by saying that conservative Republicans react like Pavlov’s dog when the word tax is mentioned, with a reflexive “No.”
As I wrote over the weekend, Brown delivered a very rugged California state budget in the annual “May revise” release on Monday. Brown has been warning for months about the need for more cuts, and the legislature has refused. (As I have mentioned, oh, 50 or 60 times.) Now the situation is, all too predictably, worse.
Naturally, I have a piece coming up on this, as well as the political and media reaction to the situation.
Meanwhile, a peer review panel that previously gave thumbs down on California’s high-speed rail project delivered a measured thumbs up yesterday afternoon at a state Senate hearing.
** MAD MEN: DANGER! SLIPPERY WHEN SOAPY (ESPECIALLY IN DARK SHADOWS). … From my May 15th review.
** NUCLEAR’S ONCE BRIGHT AND SHINY FUTURE BLINKS OUT. …From my May 12th essay.
** MAD MEN: REJECTING ADVERTISING, OR, DON DRAPER MEETS ACID ROCK, POP BUDDHISM, AND AN INDEPENDENT WIFE. … From my May 8th essay.
** THE CURIOUS CHEN CRISIS SPOTLIGHTS OUR BIG CHINA CONUNDRUM. … From my May 4th essay.
** MAD MEN: TO THE MOON! (AND CRASHING BACK AGAIN). … From my May 1st essay.
** SEALED UP, BUT NOT SEALED OVER: THE OSAMA BIN LADEN RAID AT 1. … From my May 1st essay.
** BACK ON THE NATIONAL STAGE? JERRY BROWN BRINGS AN INCOMPLETE STORY. … From my April 28th essay.
** MAD MEN: WIBBLY-WOBBLY, TIMEY-WIMEY, TRIPPY-WIPPY (AND PEGGY OLSON IS NO DANA SCULLY). … From my April 24th essay.
** HILLARY FOR PRESIDENT? ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE GAUNTLET. … From my April 24th essay.
** THE PERSISTENCE OF TUNNEL VISION: ANOTHER PROBLEM FOR JERRY BROWN. … From my April 19th essay.
** FROM GOVERNATOR TO MOONBEAM. … From my January 3rd, 2011 feature.
** OBAMA: RIDING WITH HISTORY. (NOTE: As Barack Obama was inaugurated as the 44th president of the United States, this column was the featured column on the top of the front page of the Huffington Post.) … From my January 19th, 2009 Huffington Post column.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM AL JAZEERA. With the US entangled in major military operations in the region, and the Arab awakening underway, it’s valuable to keep up with news and perspectives from the leading Middle Eastern-based TV news network. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer. The NWN live link to AJ does not constitute an endorsement of the channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** 24/7 LIVE TV NEWS FEED FROM RUSSIA TODAY. Russia has re-emerged as one of the world’s great powers. Click here for a live TV news feed on your computer from the Russia Today channel. The NWN live link to RT does not constitute an endorsement of the state-run channel’s views. It’s presented as an otherwise unavailable new media window.
** TRACK GLOBAL AND NATIONAL ENERGY PRICES IN NEAR REAL TIME VIA BLOOMBERG ENERGY MARKET WATCH. Having crashed over $147 for yet another record on July 11th, 2008, crude oil is trading around $93 per barrel on the New York Mercantile Exchange.
This is up about $59 from the low of $34 per barrel prior to enactment of the Obama economic recovery program, reflecting a low point in global economic activity, and down about $21 per barrel from the price at the time of the Osama bin Laden raid.
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